And welcome to the Halo 5: Guardians Beta. If you’re new around here, you’re going to need to update your training.
Getting into the Beta:
Currently the Beta is considered “closed” to the Halo Master Chief Collection owners and special invites and will run from Dec 29, 2014, 9amPST till January 18, 2015 (unknown time).
The Beta can be downloaded and accessed via the Halo 5 window located in your MCC’s Extras Menu.
Week 1, AR Slayer: All week long it’s Slayer and AR starts. Lock 'n load, Spartan.
Week 2, BR Slayer, Breakout: For week 2, things get a bit more “competitive,” shall we say. Slayer is changed to BR starts and the new Breakout gameytpe is a single life, round based Slayer game with slightly damaged buff SMG starts.
Week 3, Stronghold: … ??? A new gametype seemingly built off of Territories. Perhaps even lessons learned from Halo4’s Dominion. BR Slayer and Breakout remain as their own playlists.
Welcome to Spartan HQ. Access to the playlists, Halo Channel, Spartan Hub and the Message of the day are promptly found front and centre. Spartan Hub is the portal to which you will customise your Spartan’s look and controls.
The Hub can be accessed at any point in the playlist lobby via the Menu button.
Spectator Mode: Wanna see how they did it, er, do it? Now you can and so much more. From the main menu screen you can enter your Roster by pressing X. The Roster is your friendslist and whose playing Halo5. When selecting a friend playing Halo5, you will see the option to spectate. Now you’re in their match using the same controls you are used to in Theatre.
Halo 5’s sandbox and mechanics:
Basic HUD: You will now notice that both your health and time till shields recharge are displayed along with the shield status in the upper middle of the screen.
Smart Scope: All weapons now feature a form of scoping ability. This ability cannot be sustained like Halo 4. Being damaged, even in the slightest, will descope a player.
New to Halo 5 is the animation to which the majority of weapons scope. You will notice that when unscoped (hipfire), a Spartan holds their weapon in a chest level assault posture and “plays” no differently than previous Halos. When scoped, a Spartan will pull and hold their weapon higher and tighter within the visor’s view while the HUD displays each weapon’s unique view.
When scoped, the majority of weapons gain a precision bonus BUT not a damage multiplier (Lightrifle withstanding ). Also of note is that not every weapon necessarily gains an extension to their red reticle assisting range when scoped. Try not to learn the hard way that engaging head-on will often lead to unscoped/hipfire fights and any spread or red reticle extension bonus disappears when being hit.
Under default settings, Auto-Stabilizers on, scoping while in the air now activates a Spartan’s thrusters, which causes them to hover in place while scoped. Descoping, be it manually or by being damaged, will cease the thruster’s hover ability to cease and the Spartan will drop. If Auto-Stabilizers are off, tapping Sprint in the air will activate hover till tapped again, or damaged is incurred.
Sprint: Now deadlier than ever, both to the user and to opponents. First to note is that sprinting will prevent shields from recharging. The time-till-recharge meter resets when sprinting so be mindful of where and when you run.
It also takes a few moments to get up to full speed when sprinting, compared to Halo 4. The reason is because if one has the ability to use their Thrusters, one can now Shoulder Dash into an enemy, causing heavy damage. Or in the Prophet’s Bane case (new type of Energy Sword), an extended range uppercut slash.
Being damaged while sprinting will slow you down, similar to Halo 4, however one is not slowed in normal movement when being hit as well.
Thruster Pack: touched on above, thrusters are now a default ability in Halo 5, replacing the Armour Abilities/Equipment function of previous Halos. Thrusters have a cool down period and cannot be used continuously/spammed. Using thrusters while scoped will no longer put you into 3rd person view.
Clambering: New to Halo is clambering, the ability to grab a ledge and pull one’s self up. You may choose to hold jump or tap jump again to use this ability in the controller options.
Ground Pound: While in mid-air, pushing crouch will charge a Spartan’s thrusters for a heavy damaging and quick moving attack. Activating crouch causes an icon the ground to appear. If it is red, you will not attack. If it is white, releasing crouch will cause the Spartan to smash the ground.
Sliding: New to Halo as well is the now old technique of sliding. While in sprint, crouching will cause a player to quickly hit the deck while carrying their momentum… Causing the head to dip below a many a sniper’s ready line of sight… Even under shotgunner’s reticle.
Combat Evolved: Returning is the ability to ‘nade weapons around the map. Restricted to Plasma Grenades, the explosion of a sticky will now send said PW’s around the map. Learn your angles. Regular explosions bump weapons laying around from fallen Spartans.
Advanced Technique, Pound Clambering: Having trouble reaching a spot? You can use Ground Pound’s aiming ability to give a Spartan a little boost of height at the apex if their jumps. Can be combined with Sprint to reach seemingly inaccessible locations and/or take short cuts.
Legendary Weapon, the Prophet’s Bane: A return of the old with the new, the new Energy Sword dubbed “the Prophet’s Bane” is more powerful ES variant than some are used to. Some. The Bane is best described as an intended return of the H2 Energy Sword. This beast is both quick to draw and to cut down a room full of enemies as it lacks the recent variants’ long delay in activating and after a kill. It also can be Smart Scoped for the H2-esque extended range lunge. This is all combined with the Bane’s ability to increase the user’s maximum sprint speed by a small margin.
New Gametype, Breakout: A new take on round based 4x4 slayer. Players spawn with 1 life, 1 SMG and reduced shields, first to 5 wins.
ULTIMATE REMINDER: If you’ve just updated/installed the Beta or are having issues connecting to the servers, hard reset your console by holding the XB1 button on the console itself until it powers down. Fixes 90% of console issues.
If you have any questions, corrections or additions, please feel free to leave them below.